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Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Wilson began his career on the radio in 1923 as a singer at the Denver station KFEL, working in 1929 at the KFI in Los Angeles.
Although best known for his work as a comedian with Benny, Wilson had experience as a sports commentator, relaying the opening of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Wilson performed in two shows on the Broadway circuit in the 1930s, ” The Passionate Pilgrim “, released on October 19, 1932, and” The First Legion “, which premiered on October 1, 1934.
Wilson first worked with Benny on the April 2, 1934 broadcast, while serving a short stint as an announcer on the George Gershwin Music series by Gershwin. Very portly, Wilson had a strong voice and a characteristic laugh, which helped him to form the character he played on Benny’s show. Although Wilson’s main task as an announcer was to read the introduction of the program and the commercial intervals – especially for Jell-O, Grape-Nuts, and Lucky Strike – his importance in the show was growing as a comic counterpart of Benny and the others members of the cast.
Wilson also worked as a broadcaster for variety and humor radio shows such as Alan Young, Bing Crosby, Ginny Simms, and the success of Fanny Brice Baby Snooks. In 1946, he acted regularly in the comedy Glamor Manor, along with a former Jack Benny Program interpreter, Kenny Baker.
Wilson accompanied Benny to television in 1950, staying with him until the end of the series in 1965, in addition to working with him on Buck Benny Rides Again (1940) and giving voice to a caricature of himself in The Mouse that Jack Built (1959), a parody produced by Warner Brothers of The Jack Benny Program, under the direction of Robert McKimson. In addition, Wilson starred in a Broadway show, “Make a Million,” premiered on October 23, 1958.
Others of his cinematographic papers were small performances in the role of announcer or commentator, being the narrator of the Walt Disney short nominated for an Oscar Ferdinand the Bull Award. It emphasizes its participation like Mr. Kettering in the film of Marilyn Monroe Niagara, and received very good critics its action in the film Village Barn Dance.
Wilson frequently participated in commercial advertisements, giving an image to those of Western Union Candygram from 1969 to 1971.
His last performance in front of the cameras took place in two episodes of the 1960s series Batman, in the role of the announcer Walter Klondike (a parody of Walter Cronkite), although he continued to participate in different talk shows in which I was talking about Jack Benny or the beginnings of radio.
Wilson played American football at the University of Colorado in the 1920s. He was also a good golf enthusiast, teaming up with NBC broadcaster Bud Stevens, with whom he won several tournaments in Southern California. < / p>
Wilson got married four times. His second wife was Peggy Ann Kent, daughter of 20th Century Fox manager Sidney R. Kent. They married on November 19, 1940 and they divorced in December 1942. In the same month he married the Polish Countess Marusia Radunska, from whom he divorced in 1949. With his fourth wife, the radio actress Lois Corbet (who occasionally acted as “Mrs. Wilson” in Jack Benny’s radio and television shows), had a long relationship. Both of them presented the Town Talk television show, locally broadcast in Palm Springs, California from 1968 until the mid-1970s. After retiring, Wilson and his wife lived in Palm Springs.
Don Wilson died of a stroke in Cathedral City, California, in 1982. His remains were incinerated, and the ashes scattered.
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